An IT service catalog is an online, interactive listing of the available tech resources. It includes deliverables offered, prices for said deliverables, contact points, and the process for requesting said deliverables. The key to success with a service catalog is proper planning, execution, and continual monitoring and tweaking.
Focus on the Service, Not the Technology
Since the IT service desk is largely responsible for developing and maintaining the service catalog, it’s easy to get bogged down in the technical jargon and overlook the end-user’s ability to understand and take advantage of those terms and definitions. Step outside the technical aspect of the catalog, and think about who will be using it, how they will use it, and how they understand and process terms and definitions. For example, will your users look up “SQL” or will they search for “database management” instead? Some users won’t realize they need SQL coding — they simply know they need database services. When users can easily access information, it cuts down on calls to the service desk, which frees IT staff for more productive work.
Create Two Views of the Service Catalog
In order to satisfy the needs of tech users, not just the end-users, it’s a good idea to develop two views of the service catalog: one for each party. This assures that the catalog isn’t handicapped for technical workers with deeper understanding of what they’re looking for. It also makes the catalog more flexible when it comes time to add or modify services, such as when new software applications become available or hardware specs change over time, which tech users are more knowledgeable about than most end users are.
Broadly Define Your Deliverables
A successful IT service catalog uses broad umbrella terms to envelope numerous sub-categories. For instance, “Email Services” can define a whole category of services, including secure messaging systems, group email services, and urgent email services. Likewise, “Intrusion Prevention” can include categories of security services like spam blockers, firewalls, antivirus software, scanning for malware, removing malware, and network monitoring.
Automate Service Delivery as Much as Possible
A workflow software solution can automate service delivery, further freeing IT staff from busywork. Samanage offers an ITSM software solution that is cloud-based, provides fast and reliable service, and reduces the workload of the service desk. The workflow software needs to be built into the catalog so that any user who is confused or can’t find what they are looking for can send in a request conveniently without having to place a call.
Respond to Feedback and Communications
Developing a fully-functional, highly-usable IT service catalog is not a one-and-done deal. Once the catalog is up, monitor feedback, usage, and measurable results, such as how much it reduces calls to the service desk. Tweaking and managing a good catalog is a long-term proposition, as it needs to be updated, expanded, and improved with greater functionality as time goes on.